• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Rush Limbaugh: Heterosexuals Under Attack By Homosexuals

Rush Limbaugh

Commenting on University of Missouri Defensive Lineman Michael Sam’s announcement that he was gay, Rush Limbaugh came up with the bizarre theory that heterosexuals are now “under attack” by gays and lesbians:

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh says heterosexuals are “under assault” from the small fraction of the public that is gay and blames the media for turning football player Michael Sam into an icon.

Limbaugh decried the coverage of Sam, a former college football standout about to enter the NFL draft, publicly acknowledging that he is gay. On his radio show Tuesday, Limbaugh said it’s an example of how a homosexual agenda takes over politic

“Why does homosexuality have a political agenda? Why is there anything political about homosexuality while heterosexuality has no political agenda and there is no agenda attached to it?” Limbaugh said, according to a show transcript. “They’re under assault. You say, ‘Heterosexuality may be 95, 98 percent of the population.’ They’re under assault by the 2 to 5 percent that are homosexual.”

The conservative firebrand played clips of an interview with NFL star Jonathan Vilma on CNN, during which he clarified statements that were previously criticized as homophobic. Limbaugh said it was evidence of the media spinning the story.

“The media is gonna turn [Sam] — whether he wants to be one or not, they’re gonna turn him — into an activist. He is going to become one,” Limbaugh said. “He’s the Rosa Parks, he’s the Martin Luther King, he’s the Jackie Robinson. They’re gonna turn this guy into an activist. … This is going to be a totally media driven-story, totally — and because of that, it’s gonna mess everything up.”

Since Limbaugh defenders often accuse his critics of taking his remarks out of context, you can take a look at the transcript of this particular rant yourself, and here’s an extended excerpt of the portion of the remarks that the highlighted text above was taken from:

Let me ask you a different question.  Seriously.  Why is homosexuality political?  Why is there a political aspect to — or agenda associated with — homosexuality, and why does heterosexuality have no political agenda at all? (interruption) What do you mean, I don’t want the answer?  I’m just posing the question.  (interruption) Well, I don’t know that anybody’s gonna answer it.  I’m just… (interruption)  No, no, no, no, no, no, no.  No.  No, no.  That’s not your answer.  You’re wrong.  That’s not why heterosexuality has no political agenda and homosexuality does.  That’s not right.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Of course I know the answer, but I’m just asking.  Why does homosexuality have a political agenda?  Why is there anything political about homosexuality while heterosexuality has no political agenda and there is no agenda attached to it? (interruption) Heterosexuality does not have activists. (interruption) You’re wrong.  (interruption) Snerdley, you are… (interruption) But they’re under assault.  You say, “Heterosexuality may be 95, 98% of the population.”

They’re under assault by the two to 5% that are homosexual.  So why?  I’m just asking.  I’m just throwing them out there.  Why is there a political agenda attached to and driven by homosexuality, and there is no corresponding heterosexual agenda? Forget minority versus majority.  That not what I have in mind here, and it’s not “because a minority must do what it must do to overcome a majority,” because that’s not the answer. (interruption)

Okay, cool, good.  That’s wrong, too. (interruption)  I got people shouting what they think in my ear.  They’re all gonna be wrong.  Okay, let me keep going.  Why is it okay now for a gay man to play football?  I thought it was dangerous and leads to concussions. I thought it was barbaric. I thought that it too dangerous and leads to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and early death and suicide.  But yet, but yet, here comes the first announced gay guy and, “Hey, cool, man! Go for it!”

Why is it heroic for a gay man to play football?  I’m just positing these questions, ’cause there is an answer to all of these questions, and the answer is key and fundamental to understanding… (interruption) Folks, you would not believe… (sigh) This is why they’re not miked. You know, you ask me all the time, “How come we can’t hear who’s talking to you?”  It’s because of what’s happening right now.  I got more people shouting, “Because the media wants a gay football player to succeed!”  (interruption)

Okay, that’s why? A gay man playing football is heroic ’cause the media wants a gay player to succeed? Okay.  You’re halfway there.  Why does the media want a gay player to succeed?  (interruption) You don’t mean it that way.  (laughing)  Don’t bring in faces here and shoves and that kinda stuff.  We gotta keep this aboveboard here. It’s a family show.  Children’s books and all that we do here.  (interruption) Okay.  I’m just posing the questions, and it’s all part of my effort to inform, entertain, and educate.

As he so often does, Limbaugh is framing what are otherwise utterly absurd arguments in a way that makes it seem like all he’s doing is asking questions, and indeed they are questions that he already knows the answers to. The reason that Michael Sam coming out of the closet prior to the NFL Draft is a story worthy of national attention precisely because he would be first openly gay active player in an American professional sports league.1 This is just the latest example of a cultural shift that is taking place in this country regarding how gays and lesbians are perceived by the public at large. While it’s becoming common place to point to the string of victories in the marriage equality wars as well as public opinion polls that show majority support for same-sex marriage and a complete reversal of public attitudes about gay and lesbian relationships from where they stood just 20 years ago, there remain some areas where such acceptance still hasn’t taken hold. Professional sports is one of those areas, and the prospect that Sam very well could be on the starting roster of an NFL team next year is, I’d argue, just as culturally important as Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball. Before long, it won’t be news at all when an openly gay player takes the field, but we haven’t reached that point quite yet..

Limbaugh no doubt knows this, and indeed one doubts that he actually believes the rhetoric he spews in the transcript above, but the extent to which he panders to the crowd that finds it socially acceptable to shun and hate people because of their sexual orientation is yet another demonstration of just how pernicious rhetoric like his actually is. Any rational person knows that the idea that heterosexuals are “under assault” by a group of people who only ask that they be allowed to live their lives without being denied the rights they are entitled to and without being treated as pariahs is completely absurd. However, the segment of the population likely to listen to Rush Limbaugh on a regular basis believes just that, and the fact that he panders to it makes him even more pernicious than the actual haters themselves.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. mattbernius says:

    Rush said:

    While heterosexuality has no political agenda and there is no agenda attached to it?”

    Right… Absolutely no political agenda, provided we ignore the large amount of effort and treasure spent enacting Defense of Marriage Acts, and other legislation and ballot efforts that proactively ban same sex marriage.

    Though I give Rush some credit for restraining himself from also bringing race into this issue. Then again, he’d got lots of hours to fill, and given his obsession with football, I’m sure he’ll get to that in a future segment.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 0

  2. mantis says:

    Taxes, social security, death benefits, criminal statutes, adoption, hospital visitation, military service, insurance, workplace discrimination and many more issues affect gays and lesbians differently than heterosexuals. And they all have public policy implications or causes. That’s why they are political, you disgusting blowhard who visits foreign countries to sexually abuse children.

    What Rush wants, quite clearly, is for all gays to go back in the closet and for the media to ignore them or go back to treating them all as criminals and freaks. Interestingly, Rush is both.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  3. mattbernius says:

    @mantis:

    What Rush wants, quite clearly, is for all gays to go back in the closet and for the media to ignore them or go back to treating them all as criminals and freaks. Interestingly, Rush is both.

    But that is *exactly what he doesn’t want.*

    At least professionally speaking.

    He doesn’t want gays to go away in the same way that he doesn’t want a Republican president or a Republican congress. Because, as he learned from 2000 to 2006, that will not go well for him (in a professional sense).

    Rush’s brand out outrage ultimately wanes when Republican fortunes wax. And the current Tea-infused mode of Right Wing Talk radio won’t work under a Republican government, since it’s fighting Republicans as much as Democrats.

    Seriously, Hannity was apoplectic about the Debt Ceiling move, and at the same time, could not understand why House Republicans couldn’t propose an alternative (while at the same time saying that House Republicans couldn’t possibly compromise on “Realz Conzervatiz Valuz”).

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  4. Neil Hudelson says:

    Limbaugh no doubt knows this, and indeed one doubts that he actually believes the rhetoric he spews in the transcript above,

    Which makes him an even bigger piece of excrement. At least a true believer has convictions, however misguided.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  5. grumpy realist says:

    Pander pander pander. He doesn’t lynch people himself; he just eggs the mob on and makes sure they purchase sufficient rope. Takes pictures of the event, and then sells photos as souvenirs.

    I really hope he gets reincarnated as a cockroach. That’s his karmic level.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  6. Al says:

    Well, it’s not like you didn’t know he has absolutely no integrity after it came out that he’s a drug addict.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  7. mattbernius says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Which makes him an even bigger piece of excrement. At least a true believer has convictions, however misguided.

    Its more complex that this though. Limbaugh, by all accounts is a conservative (see this article written by his niece for example – http://www.salon.com/2009/04/01/rush_limbaugh_2/ ). The question is where does the Mid West, everyday conservative end and the radio persona begin.

    And this is pretty much true with every radio personality (or celebrity for that matter). Its just that the nature of (confessional talk) radio blurs the line more than most media.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. Ron Beasley says:

    Rush is the original griffter – a modern day snake oil salesman – who has turned pandering to the lowest common denominator of the U.S. population into a multimillion dollar empire. Rush doesn’t believe the stuff he says himself. The Republican party is doomed unless it can get control of the party away from the griffter class.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  9. michael reynolds says:

    This is a consistent theme of the right: they are the victims.

    The rich who own pretty much everything are victims, the 80% of the country that are white and Christian are victims, the 95% who are straight are victims. Victims, victims, victims.

    Who’s not a victim? Working poor without health insurance being paid in pocket lint by billionaires. African-Americans following 200 years of slavery and another century of Jim Crow laws. And the gays who have been outlawed, beaten, arrested, discriminated against up to this very day.

    This is modern American conservatism: a bunch of whining, self-pitying aszholes busily screwing over everyone they can possibly hurt while portraying themselves as victims.

    And people think I’m too hard on Republicans?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 50 Thumb down 0

  10. ElizaJane says:

    After the far Right had perfected the “blacks are the real racists” meme, this was bound to follow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  11. C. Clavin says:

    Too bad Jenos isn’t here to explain that straight white males are indeed the victims.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  12. janis says:

    Oh for god sake, he hired Elton John for his last wedding, or so the story goes.

    How much money does the man need?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  13. michael reynolds says:

    @janis:

    I don’t think it’s about money for Rush at this point, it’s about ego and his need to be at the center of things.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  14. gVOR08 says:

    @Neil Hudelson: As I’ve noted wrt/ others in similar contexts, I don’t think truth or falsity enters into Rush’s thinking in any way. Totally irrelevant to him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. matt bernius says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I don’t think it’s about money for Rush at this point, it’s about ego and his need to be at the center of things.

    Right. And the fact he can hire Elton John strokes his ego.

    Again, I suggest the article I liked to above. It really does a nice job of setting up Limbaugh as a person and not just a persona.

    @MR, since you’re one of our resident celebrities, do you think there’s much of a difference between your Public and private personas?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. ernieyball says:

    I’ve always called him Brush Lintoff since anyone who buys into his drivel needs to brush the lint off their brains.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. ernieyball says:

    @matt bernius:His real job is shilling for Mr. Clean… http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/73/Mr._Clean_logo.png
    (When was the last time you saw the two of them together?)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. al-Ameda says:

    It’s always a matter of concern when the de-facto Chairman of the Republican Party speaks out on the issues of the day.

    I guess he’s finally over his “women who use birth control are sluts” phase, and he’s moved on to this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  19. CB says:

    The study floating around about trolls has the implicit conclusion that by the time you click ‘reply’ to a troll, you’ve already lost. The same could be said here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  20. Andre Kenji says:

    Who is Rush Limbaugh? Is that something that we eat?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. michael reynolds says:

    @matt bernius:

    @MR, since you’re one of our resident celebrities, do you think there’s much of a difference between your Public and private personas?

    Well, I’m a pretty small-bore celebrity. I’m a celeb to a few hundred thousand kids and school librarians. My wife is bigger at the moment, what with the Newbery.

    We took a hiatus for four years or so and when I went back to work and decided not to co-author with my wife but to brand myself I went to a pseudonym because I rather naively hoped to keep my “political” self separate from my “author” self. But the internet broke that down a bit, and then I reached this point where I just became tired of dishonesty. Probably it’s just old age, certainly I’m not claiming it as a virtue because I had decades as a liar. But at some point I just couldn’t bullshit anymore. It was like a late-blooming allergy. It made me sick.

    In general now I’d say my author self and my political self and my actual self are about 95% in synch. I think if you write for kids you’re sort of expected to be a particular kind of person, someone less blasphemous and opinionated than I am, and certainly with a less lurid past. But I just can’t bring myself to play that role. So I do school visits and talk about everything. Kids really seem to appreciate it, because they’re bullsh!tted by adults 24/7 and having someone tell the truth (as he sees it) is a relief.

    But as relates to Limbaugh and other people in the public eye over the long haul, I think they can lie, and they can convince the credulous or those who will themselves to accept the lie. But a reasonably capable observer will see through it. I think, for example, that David Letterman or Howard Stern, let’s say, are pretty much what we think they are, or at least what perceptive observers think they are. I think Limbaugh is insecure, suffers from the common problem of fear that he’ll be “found out,” is fundamentally cynical, probably despises his fans as people several intellectual rungs down the ladder, and is mostly concerned with being a big deal. What terrifies him is irrelevance. He’s 63 years old, knows time is running out, and doesn’t want to end his life as a relic of a bygone age. If I were to guess I’d say right now he’s scared.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  22. ernieyball says:

    @Andre Kenji: Who is Rush Limbaugh? Is that something that we eat?

    Only if you like tripe…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  23. Gustopher says:

    Al Franken had it right all those years ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mattbernius:

    The question is where does the Mid West, everyday conservative end and the radio persona begin.

    At the toilet Matt, at the toilet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  25. grumpy realist says:

    Limbaugh reminds me of the Wall Street guy who was a total con man to everyone, ran out on his wife and kids, and now on the surface has a successful life with a new trophy wife, a speaking gig, and tons of money. But he can’t sleep through the night and hasn’t done so for years.

    You may generate all the outward trappings of success, but I think in all of us who aren’t outright psychopaths there is that little voice down in the center saying: “and what have you done with your life to improve the world?”

    I think Rush knows that he hasn’t done that. He’s spent his entire life pandering to the more evil aspects of the human character. Like whichever lord it was who pestered Charles II –the Lord of Shrewsbury? (a similar demagogue, who created “the crowd mobile”, from which we get the term “mob”)

    Rush will die at some point and he will not die loved. The major impression will be “good riddance.” The Republican Party will mourn because he was a useful demagogue to get the mob riled up, and his dittoheads will mourn because they will now have to find someone else to get their Daily Hate from. The rest of us? “Good riddance.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. The best future discussions over the words of Rush Limbaugh will be summed up with only two: So what?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  27. Gavrilo says:

    Equating Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in 1947 with Michael Sam playing in the NFL as a gay man in 2014 is breathtakingly stupid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  28. Matt says:

    @michael reynolds: Believe it or not I saw one of those “omg remember these” posts on facebook a while back. My friend posted a picture of some animorph books and I got to go “Omg I totally argue with the author’s husband on a political blog” which some preceded to not believe. Apparently they expected you to be too aloof to have time for us simpletons.

    Frankly I had never even heard of the book series till you had mentioned them. I was an avid reader as a kid but somehow I missed all that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  29. anjin-san says:

    @ al-Ameda

    Are men who sleep with football players sluts? We need Rush to weigh in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. sam says:

    @Andre Kenji: Who is Rush Limbaugh?

    He’s a standup comedian who delivers his lines sitting down. Very big among the booboisie.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0